NMSU Softball Drops Series Opener With GCU

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - Despite scoring seven runs in the fourth inning, New Mexico State softball fell to Grand Canyon 14-8 on Friday.

How it happened
GCU (35-14, 10-3) struck in the top of the first when Kendsey Hill started the game with a single. Laney Gomez followed by reaching on a fielding error by Kayla Green. After Niki Gonzalez reached on a fielder's choice, putting runners on the corners, Megan Stevens hit a sacrifice fly to score the first run of the game. Camree Wartman walked before Sierra Smith hit a long ball over the left field fence, giving the Lopes the 4-0 lead.

After two scoreless innings, Grand Canyon came back in the fourth putting runners on second and third with one out in the inning. A passed ball by Nikki Butler scored the runner from third, giving GCU the 5-0 advantage over NM State (22-21, 10-3). After walking a batter, Green gave up a double to Stevens, which scored two more runs. The final run of the inning came as Wartman and Sierra Smith hit back-to-back singles..

Fahren Glackin and Victoria Castro started a rally in the bottom of the fourth when both batters walked. Kaitlyn Rubio hit a single to left field, scoring the Aggies' first run. With runners on first and second, Rachel Rodriguez singled to center field, which loaded the bases. Haley Nakamura followed by hitting a two-run single through the left side, keeping the rally alive. Kelsey Horton and Butler each hit singles to score two more runs for New Mexico State. Glackin came back to the plate for the Aggies and was hit by a pitch for the ninth time this season. Castro walked for the second time in the inning, which scored a run, bringing NM State within two of GCU. The final run of the rally came as Destiny Blueford reached on an error, scoring the seventh run of the inning.

Grand Canyon fired back in the fifth, again putting up four runs in the inning. Four-straight singles scored a run for GCU. Sierra Smith doubled, adding three runs to the Lopes lead.

After a scoreless sixth inning for both teams, GCU expanded their lead by putting up two runs in the seventh. In the bottom of the inning. Victoria Castro walked for the third time to start a late rally for the Aggies. Destiny Blueford reached on a bunt single, putting two runners on with no outs in the inning. Kennedy Johnson grounded out to first base for the first out but advanced both runners into scoring position. After the second-straight groundout, Rodriguez hit an infield single to score a run for the Aggies. However, it was the last run scored as New Mexico State fell in the series opener 14-8.

The Aggies look to bounce back on Saturday, April 29, as they take on the Lopes in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. (MT) following the games, NM State will honor seniors Haley Nakamura and Misty Hoohuli in a special Senior Night ceremony.